Jones v. No Last Name et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 1/8/2018. (nms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
TYIRIS N. JONES,
: Civil Action No. 17-1686-RGA
USPS POSTAL SERVICE, et al.,
Tyiris N. Jones, New Castle, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
Plaintiff Tyiris N. Jones proceeds pro se and has been granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. She commenced this action on November 21, 2017. (D.I. 2). 1 The
Court proceeds to review and screen the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
In her basis for jurisdiction, Plaintiff states that she was arrested by a male
county officer and a probation officer on the day of her housing inspection. Plaintiff
states that the arrest should have been by a female officer, "so offensive touching."
(D.I. 2). In her statement of claim, Plaintiff describes several telephone calls she had
with USPS employees about four months prior to the date she commenced this action.
The calls were made when Plaintiff was trying to locate a package that was never
delivered to her. Plaintiff states that Defendant postal inspector Mike actually came to
her house instead of proceeding with an investigation of her complaint. Plaintiff also
telephoned Joseph at the Federal Trade Commission and the Inspector General.
Plaintiff states that she is behind in her bills and anemic. She "need[s] to be
compensated for all the wrong and civil rights that have been violated." (Id. at p.6).
Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, a vehicle, vaccinations for herself and her
children, and asks that the individuals involved in the matter "do the time of the crime."
(Id. at p.7).
Although the complaint does not refer to a federal statute or laws, it indicates the court
has jurisdiction by reason of a federal question. The civil cover sheet refers to "civil
SCREENING OF COMPLAINT
A federal court may properly dismiss an action sua sponte under the screening
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(8) if "the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief." Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir.
2013). See a/so 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma pauperis actions). The Court must
accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light most
favorable to a prose plaintiff. Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d
Cir. 2008); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because Plaintiff proceeds pro
se, her pleading is liberally construed and her complaint, "however inartfully pleaded,
must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. at 94.
An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), a
court may dismiss a complaint as frivolous if it is "based on an indisputably meritless
legal theory" or a "clearly baseless" or "fantastic or delusional" factual scenario.
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989).
The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant
to§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is identical to the legal standard used when ruling on Rule 12(b)(6)
motions. Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999). However, before
dismissing a complaint or claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted pursuant to the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. §1915, the Court must grant
Plaintiff leave to amend her complaint unless amendment would be inequitable or futile.
See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002).
A well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and conclusions.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009); Bell At/. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007). A plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has substantive
plausibility. See Johnson v. City of Shelby, _U.S._, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A
complaint may not dismissed, however, for imperfect statements of the legal theory
supporting the claim asserted. See id. at 346.
A court reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint must take three steps: (1) take
note of the elements the plaintiff must plead to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth;
and (3) when there are well-pleaded factual allegations, assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. Connelly v. Lane
Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780,787 (3d Cir. 2016). Elements are sufficiently alleged when
the facts in the complaint "show'' that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
679 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a
"context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience
and common sense." Id.
The allegations in the Complaint are legally and factually frivolous. As pied, the
facts do not rise to constitutional violations and there is no legal basis for Plaintiff's
claims. In addition, the Court finds the allegations are conclusory, and somewhat
disjointed in that various negative events in Plaintiff's life are recited even though the
events appear to be unrelated to one another. Based on the Court's experience and
common sense, the Complaint does not state a plausible claim for relief. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679.
In addition, under the liberal notice pleading standard of Rule 8(a), Plaintiff's
complaint fails to allege facts that, if proven, would show personal involvement by many
of the defendants. Defendant Shantell is mentioned in the complaint, but only to the
extent that Plaintiff spoke to Shantell on the phone, who told Plaintiff that the postmaster
was not there. Defendants Dennis and Merceades are not described as having done
anything. Postmaster Mike investigated Plaintiff's complaint. His actions, as alleged,
cannot be considered as violating Plaintiff's civil rights, and give no hint that anything he
did could be considered as violating Plaintiff's civil rights. As the Complaint now stands,
it does not meet the Third Circuit's standard for a legally adequate civil rights complaint.
Accordingly, the Court will dismiss the Complaint as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
For the reasons discussed, the Complaint will be dismissed as frivolous pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(8)(i). In addition, the Court finds amendment would be futile.
An appropriate order will be entered.
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